Hospitality warns of further price rises as Government confirms single-use plastics ban

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Single-use plastics to be banned from October leading to hospitality concerns over implementation

Related tags Plastic Environment Recycling Waste Sustainability

The Government has confirmed that a far-reaching ban on single-use plastics will come into force from October, leading to warnings the legislation could force takeaways to raise their prices.

The ban, which will apply to businesses across the hospitality industry, will include single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

Responding to the announcement, the British Takeaway Campaign (BTC) told BBC News​ that businesses need more support to implement it.

Andrew Crook, who runs a fish and chip shop in Lancashire and is deputy chair of the BTC, suggested fish and chips restaurants and other takeaways will become more expensive as small companies will be forced to pass on higher costs of packaging to consumers.

“We believe in doing our bit for the environment but many small businesses are only just hanging on,” he said. 

The ban will not apply to plates, trays, and bowls that are used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items, as these will be included in our plans for an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme. For example, this would include pre-packaged salad bowls and bowls filled with food at the counter of a takeaway.

Trade body UKHospitality, which lobbied the Government to widened its packaging exemption, welcomed the decision.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, said: “Hospitality venues have already made huge strides in moving away from single-use plastics and using greener alternatives, but there were concerns over the practicalities of some elements of the proposed ban for venues that offer both eat-in and takeaway services. It’s positive news that the Government has listened to UKHospitality’s concerns about this and widened its packaging exemption to include these hybrid operators.

“What this exemption offers is further time for alternative markets of sustainable packaging to develop, which will allow businesses to go even further in their green initiatives when viable and affordable alternatives are more readily available.”

According to Government estimates, England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates per year, but only 10% are recycled.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “We all know the absolutely devastating impacts that plastic can have on our environment and wildlife. We have listened to the public and these new single-use plastics bans will continue our vital work to protect the environment for future generations.”

Related news

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more